For most industrial enclosure cooling applications, a temperature of 95°F (35°C) is sufficient to be below the rated maximum operating temperature of the electrical components inside the cabinet. EXAIR Thermostats are preset to 95°F (35°C) and are adjustable. Maintaining the cabinet at 95°F (35°C) will keep the electronics cool and provide long life and reduced failures due to excessive heat. But if 95°F (35°C) is good, why not cool the cabinet to 70°F (21.1°C)?
When cooling an enclosure to a lower temperature, two things come into play that need to be considered. First, the amount of external heat load (the heat load caused by the environment) is increased. Using the table below, we can see the effect of cooling a cabinet to the lower temperature. For a 48″ x 36″ x 18″ cabinet, the surface area is 45 ft² (4.18 m²). If the ambient temperature is 105°F (40.55°C), we can find from the table the factors of 3.3 BTU/hr/ft² and 13.8 BTU/hr/ft² for the Temperature Differentials of 10°F (5.55°C) and 35°F (19.45°C). The factor is multiplied by the cabinet surface area to get the external heat load. The heat load values calculate to be 148.5 BTU/hr and 621 BTU/hr, a difference of 472.5 BTU/hr (119.1 kcal/hr)
The extra external heat load of 472.5 BTU/hr (119.1 kcal/hr) will require the Cabinet Cooler System to run more often and for a longer duration to effectively remove the additional heat. This will increase, unnecessarily, the operating costs of the cooling operation.
The other factor that must be considered when cooling an enclosure to a lower temperature is that the Cabinet Cooler cooling capacity rating is effected. I won’t go into the detail in this blog, but note that a 1,000 BTU/hr Cabinet Cooler (rated for 95°F (35°C cooling) working to cool a cabinet down to 70°F (21.1°C) instead of 95°, has a reduced cooling capacity of 695 BTU/hr (174 kcal/hr). The reduction is due to the cold air being able to absorb less heat as the air rises in temperature to 70°F instead of 95°F.
In summary – operating a Cabinet Cooler System at 95°F (35°C) provides a level cooling that will keep sensitive electronics cool and trouble-free, while using the least amount of compressed air possible. Cooling to below this level will result in higher operation costs.
If you have questions about Cabinet Cooler Systems or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
If you watched the Webinar we hosted recently (if not, Watch It here) then you know that the EXAIRCabinet Cooler System is an intelligent solution for electrical enclosure cooling. The use of a Thermostat Control system is a key component to a system that provides the needed cooling while keeping compressed air usage to a minimum. There are several choices available, and I will cover those for you today.
The thermostat control systems are the most effective way to operate a Cabinet Cooler. They work by activating the the cooler only when the internal temperature of the enclosure reaches a preset, critical level. Thermostat controlled cooler systems are the best option when a cabinet will experience fluctuating heat loads, caused by operational, environmental, and seasonal changes.
Cabinet Cooler Systems that are ordered from the factory with thermostat control include a solenoid valve and thermostat. The solenoid valve is available in 110-120VAC, 50/60 Hz, 240VAC, 50/60 Hz, and 24VDC and is UL Listed and CE and RoHS compliant. The thermostat is rated for 24V-240V AC or DC, 50/60 Hz and is UL Recognized and CSA Certified.
The thermostat is factory set at 95°F (35°C). It will typically hold an internal cabinet temperature to +/- 2°F (1°C). The thermostat can be adjusted up or down if a different internal temperature is desired by turning the slotted temperature adjusting sleeve, with a 1/16 turn being approximately a 5°F change.
The solenoid and thermostat components are rated to match and maintain the Cabinet Cooler System and cabinet NEMA rating, and can be NEMA 12, NEMA 4 or NEMA 4X. A Thermostat Control can be added to an existing Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System, please consult the factory for help in selecting the right kit.
If you have any questions about the Cabinet Coolers and Thermostat Options or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Many EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with thermostat control, Model 9017 thermostat is used to monitor temperature in the panel as part of a typical thermostat controlled system. Below is a video on how to physically mount model 9017 thermostat into your panel as part of the overall installation process for NEMA 12 or NEMA 4/4X Cabinet Cooler Systems. Wiring the thermostat will be covered in a separate video.
Industrial facilities incorporate a variety of processes and procedures to meet customer demands. The ability to convert incoming resources into the desired output hinges upon proper up-time inside of the facility. Whether producing raw materials, performing value-adding services, or manufacturing consumer goods, downtime and failed systems inside of an industrial facility mean lost throughput, lost profit, and increased cost.
As temperatures begin to rise across the US, heat related equipment failures become more prevalent. Industrial facilities need a way to alleviate the problems caused by these increased temperatures and to mitigate the risk of failing electrical devices due to heat.
EXAIR Cabinet Coolers provide this solution using nothing but compressed air.
EXAIR Cabinet Coolers convert a source of compressed air into a very cold stream of air, capable of cooling a sealed enclosure. They are mounted directly to the enclosure, feeding in air as low as 18°F (-8°C) to bring the internal temperature of the cabinet down to acceptable levels. While the cold air generated by the Cabinet Cooler is fed into the enclosure, hot air is simultaneously removed, maintaining relative humidity inside the enclosure at 45%.
Rated for use in NEMA 12 (IP54), NEMA 4, and NEMA 4X (IP66) environments, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are available in aluminum, 303 stainless steel, and 316 stainless steel. No matter the material of construction, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers can provide 275 – 5,600 BTU/hr. of cooling capacity in industrial applications with ambient temperatures up to 125°F (52°C). For hotter environments up to 200°F (93°C), High Temperature Cabinet Coolers are available.
In extremely dirty environments, Non-Hazardous Purge systems provide a continuous stream of air (1 CFM) into the enclosure, maintaining a positive pressure and preventing any dust intrusion.
Each system type and material are available to ship from stock*, allowing fast delivery to your facility and quickly solving an overheating condition of your devices.
Fans and traditional air conditioners can effectively remove heat, but they provide no separation between the sensitive components inside of an enclosure and the dirty industrial environment outside. Simply installing a fan or AC unit can allow dust, oil, and other ambient contaminants into the enclosure, leading the failure of the expensive equipment inside. And, these solutions degrade over a finite lifespan (the Cabinet Cooler does not), they require routine maintenance (the Cabinet Cooler does not), and they need more time to install (Cabinet Cooler installation is fast and simple). Curious how easy it is to install an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler? Check out this video and see just how easy it really is.
For those applications without enough spacing to mount a Cabinet Cooler on top of the enclosure, Side Mount Kits are available. These kits are also available from stock and are just as easy to install:
All EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are available with thermostat controls to regulate internal cabinet temperatures and compressed air consumption. EXAIR thermostats feature a bimetallic contact strip to open and close the electrical circuit in response to air temperatures. These thermostats quickly respond to changes in air temperature and are specifically suited for their intended use. Preset for 95°F (35°C), a suitable temperature for most electronic devices, these thermostats are fully adjustable for specific application needs.
In the event a more sophisticated thermostat control is needed, Electronic Temperature Control units can be implemented. These standalone units utilize a thermocouple to determine internal cabinet temperatures which display onto a digital readout. Push-button controls on the digital readout board allow for easy modification of the internal cabinet temperature set-point. When the desired internal temperature is reached, the Cabinet Cooler will turn off automatically.
Is it really that easy? Can a Cabinet Cooler provide real cooling for sensitive devices and last for years without any maintenance? Well, here’s an example:
An automotive radiator manufacturer experienced a problem with an overheated motor drive, causing one of their production lines to come to a stop. The root cause of the failure was a leaking refrigerant-based air conditioner, which failed and allowed water into the enclosure housing the motor controls. When the water entered the enclosure, it shorted the motor drive and caused the production line stoppage. The new drive cost over $20,000 and a month of down time to purchase, receive, and install.
Following this failure, the customer searched for a more suitable cooling solution and installed an EXAIR model 4330 NEMA 12 2,000 BTU/hr. Cabinet Cooler System. With an included thermostat control, this system provided proper cooling for the application without any need for required maintenance or potential to leak water into the enclosure.
Fast forward six years and this same customer reached out to EXAIR for another application. During the conversation they mentioned the Cabinet Cooler they purchased many years before was still in operation, still providing proper cooling for the enclosure, and that no maintenance had been performed (Cabinet Coolers do not require routine maintenance). Even in the dirty industrial environment of this manufacturing facility, the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler continued to function flawlessly.
When exploring industrial solutions, required routine maintenance is a common concern. The cost of replacement components and time required to perform necessary maintenance weigh heavily on decision makers. Fortunately, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers do not require any maintenance, and with clean, dry compressed air their lifespan can be 20 years or more. There are no moving parts to wear out or routine maintenance services to be performed.
If you’re in need of a suitable cooling solution for an industrial enclosure, consider an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. They’re smaller than traditional AC units, faster to install, and require little-to-no-maintenance. Feel free to contact an EXAIR Application Engineer with any questions, or fill out our online Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide to have an Application Engineer contact you.
Using compressed air in the plant is common for many types of processes. Typical uses are drying, cooling, cleaning and conveying. Compressed air does have a cost to consider, and there are many ways to keep the usage and the costs as low as possible. The first step is to use an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product, which has been engineered to provide the most performance while using the least amount of compressed air. The next step is to control the use of the air, to only have it on when needed.
EXAIR offers the EFC – Electronic Flow Control. It offers the most comprehensive method to maximize the efficiency of compressed air usage. It combines a photoelectric sensor with a timing control that operates a solenoid valve to turn on and off the air as required. With 8 different program types, an on/off mode that works with any process can be programmed ensuring that the minimum amount of compressed air is used. You can use the online EFC Savings Calculator to see how quickly the savings add up!
Another method would be to use a solenoid valve with some other method of control. Depending on the process, the solenoid could be energized via a machine control output, or as simple as an electrical push button station. EXAIR offers solenoid valves in a variety of flow rates (from 40 to 350 SCFM) and voltages (24 VDC, 120 VAC and 240 VAC) to match the air flow requirements of the products we provide, while integrating into the facility and available supply voltages.
For control of the Cabinet Cooler Systems, the ETC – Electronic Temperature Control, uses a thermocouple to measure cabinet temperature and cycle the system on and off to maintain a precise cabinet temperature, and provides a digital readout of the internal temperatures and on the fly adjustment. Also available is the Thermostat Control models, which utilize an adjustable bimetallic thermostat to control the solenoid valve, also cycling the unit on and off as needed to maintain a set cabinet temperature.
There are several manual methods that can be used to control the compressed air. A simple valve can be used to turn the air off when not needed, whether at the end of the work day, at break time, or whenever the air isn’t required. We offer several options, from a foot controlled valve, to a magnetic base with on/off valve, to a simple quarter turn ball valve.
To discuss your processes and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can control the air supply and save you money, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
The image above shows a NEMA 4 Cabinet Cooler after years of use in a food production facility. The head electrician at the facility which uses this unit, contacted me regarding the possibility of installing thermostat controls on a pre-installed Cabinet Cooler systems. Apparently there are multiple EXAIR Cabinet Coolers in use around this facility, and as part of an improvement to compressed air efficiency, this facility wanted to explore automated regulation of the temperature in these enclosures (through thermostats). THis customer inquiry was about how to go about implementing such an upgrade.
It was refreshing for the end user to find that we have mechanical thermostat controls, solenoids, and even digital thermostatic solutions available from stock, making the upgrading process easy and pain-free. After some conversations over the phone and emailing part numbers along with our Cabinet Cooler Installation and Maintenance Guide, which outlines how to install the thermostat for our Cabinet Cooler systems, this customer had everything required to do exactly what they needed in their facility. (In this case, our model 9016 Solenoid Valve and Thermostat Kit met the voltage and compressed air flow requirements needed for the application.)
Providing efficient, controlled, and reliable solutions for industrial applications is all we do at EXAIR. If you have an application in need of a complete solution, or just an upgrade, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’re happy to help.
Last week, I wrote about what a great idea it is to use a thermostat with a Cabinet Cooler System. I’ll let another cat out of the bag right now and tell you that there are less expensive thermostats than ours. But just like the savings you might realize on the purchase by foregoing a thermostat, using a poorly specified thermostat can also be the last savings you see.
In a Cabinet Cooler System application, we’re refrigerating air. This makes for a cool, clean, and dry atmosphere for your electrical & electronic components to operate in.
Not all thermostats are designed to read air temperature – in fact, a LOT of common, commercially available thermostats are designed for use with liquid. Using these to control air temperature will lead to slow response times. That means one of two things will happen:
When the air inside the enclosure is cooled to the thermostat’s set-point temperature, it won’t shut off the compressed air flow to the Cabinet Cooler unit, resulting in unnecessary compressed air consumption. And that’s a shame.
When the air inside the enclosure is heated to the thermostat’s set-point temperature, it won’t start the compressed air flow to the Cabinet Cooler unit, resulting in a potential overheating of those expensive…or critical…or both…electronic components. And that’s a REAL shame.